Shadyan's Heart Surgery

Kurdistan, northern Iraq

Moving On

Posted on Thu, 11/05/2015 - 21:07 by Ruth Zellweger

Our little Shadyan is making progress one step at a time. Today she was transferred to Secondary ICU, which is a huge encouragement for her mother.

As doctors and nurses continue to treat Shadyan with diligence and love, we are looking forward to soon having her and her mother back with us in our home.

Healing Beautifully

Posted on Wed, 11/04/2015 - 20:58 by Sarah Powell

Shadyan is continuing to heal beautifully. She is gaining strength day by day, so much so that she has to be restrained on her bed so that she doesn't move around so much! She is eating regularly, is sleeping peacefully, and is receiving excellent care from both her mother and the hospital staff. Praise the Lord!


Posted on Mon, 11/02/2015 - 20:59 by Maureen Grimshaw

Today we visited Shadyan in the ICU, the day after her surgery.  We had a wonderful surprise when Dr. Alona explained after checking her this morning, that her surgery was a great success and she will not need a second operation.  Already when we reached the ward around 12 noon, her breathing tube was out, and she was fully conscious, although a little sleepy.

By 2 p.m., she was being fed her first bottle of milk, which she swallowed up quickly and was ready for more. 

Her mother was very relieved and happy with Shadyan and repeatedly asked us if she was okay and if the surgery was a success. The doctor assured her that the operation was a success, and they are hoping she will recover well in the hospital. 

It is with great relief that we praise the Lord for this little girl, since her mother had waited already two months for Shadyan's surgery.

We continue to pray for a speedy recovery with no complications so that they can return home to their family in Kurdistan, northern Iraq soon.

A Much Anticipated Day

Posted on Sun, 11/01/2015 - 21:11 by Erin Brown

Surgery day!  It was a day that has been long awaited for Shadyan, after her heart repair was postponed several times.

This morning, Shadyan was in good spirits, as was her mother.  We spent time with them before she went into surgery, entertaining her with bubbles and smiles!  She is so sweet and innocent.  I am sure her mother was nervous, but she hid it with a smile and a genuine love for her daughter.

Imagine what she must have been feeling.  I dwelt on it for a while, and it was a sad place.  Her daughter, whom she loves so much, has a heart condition.  She, the mother, travels to a foreign land for her daughter.  She lives in a different place for her daughter.  She waits at the hospital for hours for her daughter.  Not knowing what would happen, I can't imagine all the questions that must have been going through her mind.  A mother’s strength is like none other.  It is a special strength and a special love.  Thank God for the mothers, whether biological or not, in our lives!

We walked together through the long hallways to the operating room, and then the moment came when the nurse took Shadyan from her mother to the room where the surgery would be performed. Once her daughter was out of reach and sight, her mother's eyes began to tear up.  She had been strong for her daughter, not letting herself cry in front of her.  She focused on Shadyan and her needs, but once Shadyan had been taken, the mother’s emotions came to the forefront.  She wanted to know for a fact that her daughter would not be in pain.  She was reassured, and a weight was lifted from her mind.

We, three from Shevet, spent the next hours together with the mother.  We talked with her, she rested, and we ate a meal together. 

She remained courageous and strong every minute of the waiting time.

In the afternoon, we got word that Shadyan was out of surgery! 

The report is that her heart had two large holes that were repaired by the surgery.  Also, two of her heart valves were in the form of one large valve rather than two small ones.  This was also corrected by the procedure.  However, the tissue is paper thin so she is being closely watched now to make sure she stays in good condition.  The post-surgery echo looked good.  We pray that continues to hold true.  This was a difficult procedure.  There may have to be another surgery in the future, but no one knows for certain yet.

So now we pray.  We pray for continued strength for the mother and for healing for Shadyan.  Thank you all for your continued prayers and support!  You are making a difference in the lives of many children.     

A Whole New Look

Posted on Wed, 10/28/2015 - 20:20 by Noa

Shadyan is still waiting patiently for her turn to go into surgery. Her cough still plagues her and her breathing is slightly labored. Once she becomes healthier she can go to the hospital for surgery.

Shadyan’s mother is also having a bit of a struggle. She slammed her hand in a door a couple days ago and tore the tissue inside her hand. The torn tissue in her hand became infected and was giving her so much pain that it was frustrating for her to even hold Shadyan. Today, I stayed with Shadyan and Shadyan’s mother went to the doctor and got her hand wrapped as well as some antibiotics to stop the infection from spreading up her arm. The good news is Shadyan’s mother is on the road to recovery!

Shadyan got a brand new haircut a few days back and now has a much shorter look. Lanya’s mother cut her hair and it looks great!

Waiting and Tears

Posted on Sun, 10/18/2015 - 18:54 by Ruth Zellweger

Little Shadyan and her mother have had some rough days and nights since the end of last week. On Friday morning Shadyan's mother informed me that her little daughter had been throwing up several times after coughing hard. She also had a higher temperature and so Agnes and I took her to the hospital in Tel Aviv on the Eve on Shabbat. There she was admitted for observation. 

Today we received the news that Shadyan was allowed to come back to our home in Jerusalem. When Annie and I met her and her mother in the children's ward, her mother was close to tears. She had not slept much these past days and Shadyan's cough is still not much better. She also had to deal with the news that due to the unknown source of the intermittent fever and the cough Shadyan's surgery will be postponed for several days. This brave woman is very strong and courageous, but today it was very difficult for her to accept all these challenges. 

Shadyan and mother are now back with us in Jerusalem. Our prayer is that Shadyan will soon feel better and that the cough will leave her. We also pray for peace and encouragement for her lovely mother. Thank you for joining us.

"I sought the LORD, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears." Psalm 34:4

The Waiting Challenge

Posted on Tue, 10/13/2015 - 21:36 by Maureen Grimshaw

Shadyan has been with us since September first but has had to wait for her surgery, which is expected to be done next week. Due to the excessive load of emergencies in the hospital recently, her surgery had to be postponed. 

From the time she arrived we have watched Shadyan become more strong and develop with her milestones as she interacted with her mother and others in Shevet. There is a great improvement since she first came to us when she cried a lot and could not respond to others easily. She also used to not sleep well at night or be able to eat well.    

Her surgery will be a big challenge as it always is for each child, but I know that this time of preparation with us has been a help for both Shadyan and her mother. You can see the special bond they have and this little girl's charm that captures the hearts of everyone.

Please continue to pray for Shadyan and her mother as she waits patiently for her little daughter's surgery next week.

Back in Jerusalem

Posted on Mon, 09/21/2015 - 19:38 by Lina Olofson

Today we went Wolfson to bring Shadyan back after only one day at the hospital. Her mother was very happy to go back to Jerusalem.  When we came, Shadyan was smiling and looking well. She didn’t have much appetite, but her fever was gone and she was breathing regularly.  

We had a long drive back home because we went to the Gaza border on our way to drop off baby Ahmed. Shadyan was sitting calm by her mother’s side the whole way.

We thank God that we could bring Shadyan back home so soon and pray that God will bless her time of waiting.  

Shadyan Admitted for Observation

Posted on Sun, 09/20/2015 - 21:45 by Annie Magnusson

We brought Shadyan with us to the hospital today to get her checked, since she has been breathing differently in the mornings lately. After many different tests and a long day at the hospital, it was decided that Shadyan and her mother would stay overnight. Because of the result of the blood test, showing a higher white blood cell count, they wanted to keep her under observation.

Shadyan was very patient throughout the day, even though she cried loudly when the doctors examined her and did the different tests. It was special to me to be able to support her and her mother in these difficult moments. Shadyan was overall impressingly happy, though, as you can see in these pictures. By the end of our visit, I got to comfort her by walking around and singing softly, and after a while she fell asleep in my arms. That was a very sweet and precious moment for me.

Please continue to pray for Shadyan’s healing.

Arrival and First Day

Posted on Tue, 09/01/2015 - 21:26 by Alexa Bigl
Last night our dedicated team members, Agnes and Austin, drove to Tel Aviv for a late-night pick-up of our newest baby girl arrival, Shadyan! Passport control went very well and Shadyan arrived safely back at Shevet Achim in Jerusalem.  
Today was Shadyan’s first full day in Israel and it has been a very busy one! We headed to the hospital for the initial assessment at 8am and did not return back to Shevet until 5pm. The workday ended with a double blessing: Shadyan slept the whole way home without crying, and there was no traffic! 
The initial assessment began with the nurses attaining vital signs, weight, height, and a blood draw from Shadyan. We then headed up to the echo department where this beautiful baby girl slept her way through her 45 minute ultrasound examination. The doctors confirmed Shadyan suffers from the defect known as a Complete AV Canal. This means her heart does not have a septum (or barrier) between the left and right sides.
The echo also confirmed Shadyan is a good candidate for a complete surgical repair of her cardiac defect, praise God! 
After her echo, we headed for PPDs (tuberculosis test) for Shadyan and her mother. Then it was off to chest x-ray. One last visit to the children’s ward to get new medication orders and our day was finally complete.
Shadyan and her mother were troopers and did a wonderful job navigating this confusing and full day. We are so glad they are here with us at Shevet. God is so faithful and we are excited to see Shadyan through her surgery and blessed for the time to get to know her and her mother! Thank you for joining us in this journey.